In Their Own Words

Oct 29, 2010

“The cost of honor killing cannot be measured just by body count. It is a form of sexual terrorism and frightens many women into accepting marital abuse. It also allows men to rid themselves of inconvenient women with impunity… Over the past decade, the strategy of ‘collective shaming’ has brought pressure on Pakistan’s political authorities to mitigate the more egregious abuses of women’s rights. Step by small step, the country’s parliament has begun to remove obstacles to prosecuting those who kill their female relatives in the name of honor… Emancipating Pakistani women from the threat of honor killing will require more than the urgings of morality, religion and reason. In order to align what people know with what they do, we must try to reshape their codes of honor, using shame and even carefully calibrated ridicule. Pakistanis who now take honor killing for granted need to recognize that their country is disgraced by allowing these wrongs.”

--Kwame Anthony Appiah, “Best Weapon Against Honor Killers: Shame,” Wall Street Journal, September 25, 2010


“In the 16 years since the passage of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), we have broken the silence surrounding domestic violence to reach thousands of survivors, prevent countless incidences of abuse, and save untold numbers of lives.  While these are critical achievements, domestic violence remains a devastating public health crisis when one in four women will be physically or sexually assaulted by a partner at some point in her lifetime.  During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, we recognize the tremendous progress made in reducing domestic violence, and we recommit to making everyone’s home a safe place for them… This month – and throughout the year – let each of us resolve to be vigilant in recognizing and combating domestic violence in our communities, and let us build a culture of safety and support for all those affected. NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2010 as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  I call on all Americans to speak out against domestic violence and support local efforts to assist victims of these crimes in finding the help and healing they need.”

--U.S. President Barack Obama in a proclamation, October 1, 2010.